SCLRR was contacted by the Lompoc shelter about Buddie, his owner had passed away, leaving 3 dogs homeless. One is 17, another 12, and Buddie 7. Buddie being the only lab. Karen, an SCLRR volunteer, fostered Buddie, and said he was a dream to have in her home.
Karen was at the Santa Barbara shelter December 22. Christine, another SCLRR volunteer, was with her –she had evaluated Buddie. Talking with the volunteers they discovered Jessica (animal control officer from the Lompoc shelter) was there and she was the one that knew Buddies dad. He was a transient who moved in his motor home from Arizona to Lompoc in 2011 with his dogs. He was a diabetic and alcoholic which ended him in the hospital a few times. Jessica was the one that answered the call the first time this happened. The report was a “vicious” dog was barking inside the motor home…turned out it was Buddie ….who doesn’t even come close to vicious. Jessica took the 3 dogs to the shelter and they stayed there until the owner was released from the hospital–who came immediately to pick them up. This happened every time the owner went to the hospital. Jessica said the dogs were his life and they came first and he probably took better care of the dogs than himself.
Late Sept or early October 2012, the owner checked into a motel. Eventually the authorities were called in, since the owner hadn’t been seen for awhile. They had to get into the motel room via the room next door–connecting door. The owner had been dead for 2 weeks. The dogs were laying by their owner “protecting” him. The dogs only had toilet bowl water to drink and no food–and did go running to the other motel room the authorities had come through straight to the toilet for water. Jessica had been there through all of this and took the dogs into custody and to the shelter. The owner had never been touched by the dogs in any way, even with no food for 2 weeks.
The authorities looked for next of kin to no avail. It then became Cheryl’s (a Lompoc volunteer) mission to find homes for all 3 dogs. The 17 year old went to a senior shelter–who sent her back to the Lompoc Shelter, she yelped and cried constantly missing her canine companions. The families that showed interest in the 12 year old dog never followed through. Then a man from Los Osos adopted both the 12 and 17 year old together—both dogs are doing great and have a pig and several goats as siblings.
After being fostered by Karen, Buddie was adopted by a wonderful family. He has a mom, dad, brother and sister, and a doggie brother around Buddie’s age. His new family had lost a lab to cancer and their other lab was lonely—now the two boys get along wonderfully.
Cheryl, the Lompoc volunteer, told Karen something she won’t forget….”I wish I could have met the man who had these 3 dogs—the dogs are the nicest, sweetest dogs ever.” I’m sure we have two adopting families that agree with her.